Kathy Seegebrecht, CMO of UL, Looks Back at a Long Career as a Leader in Marketing
It’s no secret that the business world notably features more men than women in leadership. But women like the ones we invite on “Ladies Who Launch” are looking to change that. In 2021, business advisory firm Grant Thornton found that 31% of senior leadership positions worldwide are held by women. Moreover, 90% of businesses worldwide have at least one woman in senior management. Though we have by no means achieved proportional gender diversity yet, it’s an improvement from previous years and what I hope will become a positive trend. I’m confident that part of that growth can be attributed to existing female leaders making their presence known and lifting other women up with them, as does our guest on the second episode of “Ladies Who Launch.”
I wanted to build on the momentum after the incredible start to “Ladies Who Launch” with Latané Conant, so, for our second livestream, I spoke with Kathy Seegebrecht, SVP and CMO of UL, a global health safety company that recently committed $1.8 billion to research emerging public safety risks. Seegebrecht is no stranger to taking charge, having held leadership and executive roles at BP and Navistar before UL. With a long history in marketing and management, she’s a powerhouse who knows the importance of stepping outside her comfort zone and always keeping an eye out for learning opportunities.
But personal growth is just one part of the equation for success. Being a leader means not only nurturing your own professional development but also consistently advocating for your team. It’s a crucial idea that Kathy well understands. In October 2020, she helped found Chief, a network for women executives to collaborate and bring up more women leaders. She’s a strong ally to the people around her, and I’m proud to say I’ve got her back too.
We had an excellent discussion peppered with advice on how to keep teams motivated and engaged, the significance of mentorship in workplaces, and trying new opportunities when they arise. We also got to talk about one of our shared passions: serving on nonprofit boards. Giving back to the communities we care about is important to both of us, and serving as board members is a great way to contribute.
To hear our full conversation, including Kathy’s advice to her younger self — and in the spirit of “Ladies Who Launch,” her lunch order — check out the episode and join the next livestream, where I’ll talk with Heidi Melin, board member of SailPoint and Origami Risk.